CORNISH

Suspect arrested after theft of store’s cash and tobacco

A convenience store robber with a fondness for tobacco products was arrested Tuesday by Maine State Police.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state police, said troopers arrested 23-year-old Scott Stevens of Cornish early Tuesday at his home on Sokokis Trail. Stevens, who was charged with robbery, was being held Tuesday night at the York County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

Police said a man matching Stevens’ description entered the Big Apple Store late Monday night and handed the clerk a note demanding cash, two cartons of cigarettes and some chewing tobacco. He then fled on foot.

Stevens was identified by state police from the store’s video surveillance camera. Troopers went to his home to question him, where they recovered most of the stolen cash as well as the cigarettes and tobacco.

PORTLAND

Man gets 6 years for seeking tax refunds in others’ names

A former Arundel man has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for seeking fraudulent tax refunds totaling nearly $216,000 in other people’s names.

Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Robert Andre Bouthot was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to six years and three months in prison. He was also ordered to pay more than $138,000 in restitution.

Bouthot pleaded guilty in May to filing a false income tax return and identity theft.

Prosecutors say Bouthot received an $11,169 refund in the name of a woman based upon fictitious wages and withholdings. The woman did not know her name was on the return.

The Internal Revenue Service uncovered at least 32 false tax returns filed by Bouthot between 2004 and 2010 using other people’s names.

 

Couple arguing outside bar assault two who intervene

Portland police are investigating an aggravated assault that occurred outside Matthew’s bar at 133 Free St. Monday night.

A man spotted a couple arguing at 10:30 p.m. and when he went to intervene, the woman hit him in the chin with an object, police said. Once on the ground, the man kicked him.

A woman who tried to intervene was also hit, police said.

The suspects left before police arrived.

VASSALBORO

Seventh-grade girl charged with starting fire at school

Fire investigators have charged a 13-year-old Maine girl with arson for allegedly setting fire to toilet paper at her school, forcing hundreds of students to be evacuated.

The state fire marshal’s office says Monday’s fire started in a toilet-paper dispenser in a second-floor girl’s bathroom at Vassalboro Community School. More than 500 students from kindergarten through eighth grade were evacuated, but the fire was confined to the bathroom and nobody was hurt.

Officials say the seventh-grade girl will appear in juvenile court in February.

She’s been released to the custody of her parents.

BANGOR

Police seize heroin and pills from car with baby on board

Police say a 3-month-old baby was strapped into a children’s car seat in a vehicle in which they found an ounce of heroin and 229 oxycodone pills during a traffic stop in Bangor.

Bangor police and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency agents seized $21,000 worth of illicit drugs when they stopped the Lincoln Navigator on Friday.

Four suspects who allegedly sold the drugs from Bangor motel rooms are being held in the Penobscot County Jail on drug trafficking charges.

The Department of Health and Human Services was called in after the baby was discovered in the vehicle, the Bangor Daily News reported.

WATERBORO

About 50 laptops, projector stolen in school break-in

Police say about 50 laptop computers are missing after a burglary at Massabesic High School.

The York County Sheriff’s Department says one or more burglars broke into the East Building of the school Monday night and took the laptops and a projector.

The burglars pried open a rear window to get into the building.

The Apple Intel Mac Books were used in the freshman academy at Massabesic.

The laptops are white and had identifying stickers showing they are the property of RSU 57, and a background screen identifies the computers as the property of RSU 57 when they are turned on.

The school says the replacement cost for each computer is $1,200.

HEBRON

Academy’s suit against town seeks tax-exempt status

A lawsuit brought by a private boarding school against the town of Hebron is scheduled to get under way Tuesday.

Hebron Academy is seeking a return to tax-exempt status in its suit against the town, which will be heard in Oxford County Superior Court.

The nearly 200-year-old prep school says in its complaint that it had tax-exempt status until 2009, when the town began taxing part of the school’s property, including its ice skating arena.

The town counters that the school rents out the arena for purposes unrelated to its tax exempt purpose.

The Sun Journal reported that the school is seeking a return to tax-exempt status and reimbursement of all tax money paid to the town.

ORONO

Hair dryer causes blaze at student apartments

Investigators say a fire that forced 23 University of Maine students out of their off-campus apartments Saturday was caused by a hair dryer.

Lt. Tim York of the state Fire Marshal’s Office said Monday a malfunctioning hair dryer in a first-floor bedroom caused the blaze at Stillwater Village apartments.

No one was injured. Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

York said the fire has been ruled an accident.

A university spokesman told the Bangor Daily News that all the displaced students have found new housing, either on campus or with family and friends.

The university is working to replace students’ school supplies, such as textbooks and computers, and will offer meal plans during their transition.

FARMINGTON

Man shot by officer intended to be killed, girlfriend says

The girlfriend of a Farmington man shot and killed by an officer Saturday morning outside the town’s municipal building said she’s convinced he went there intending to commit suicide.

Destiny Cook said Justin Crowley-Smilek, 28, left his apartment that morning without his wallet, watch or cellphone and had locked his service dog in the bathroom.

She said the former U.S. Army Ranger had become increasingly paranoid in recent weeks and suffered from constant and severe back pain.

“He just couldn’t take it anymore,” said Cook, 33, owner of Western Mountain Massage in Farmington. “He walked from his house to the police station knowing he was going to die.”

Farmington Police Chief Jack Peck said Officer Ryan Rosie used deadly force after Crowley-Smilek, who had a knife, acted in a threatening way toward Rosie.

Peter W. Ogden, director of the Bureau of Veterans Services in Maine, confirmed by phone Tuesday that Crowley-Smilek had served in combat overseas and is eligible for a full military funeral.

Click here for a more detailed version of this story.

 

AUGUSTA

Review finds police training OK after Kennebunk death

Kennebunk police had adequate policies, procedures and training in place when an officer fatally shot a woman last spring, according to an incident review team of police officials from several southern Maine departments.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office concluded Aug. 2 that Officer Joshua Morneau was justified when he shot Katherine Paulson, 40, on March 27, concluding that he reasonably believed that he, another officer and Paulson’s mother were being threatened with deadly force, and that deadly force was needed to stop her.

The incident review team, which now is required by state law, looks at whether the training and policies of the department were adequate and followed in the time leading up to the shooting, according to a release from Chief Robert F. MacKenzie.

The requirement grew out of a concern that even though officers may be justified in using deadly force at the moment when they do, it may be worthwhile to examine whether changing policies could have avoided the confrontation in the first place.